AriRusila's Conflicts

Archives for EU integration

When you look into all this bizarre activity of the European Union with its 80,000 pages of regulations it looks like Gosplan. (Vladimir Bukovsky) The EU was and still partly is a bold and unique project. It resembles less that of the United States of America and more that of the Soviet Union. Until the… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

From historical perspective the Mladic’n arrest and the Hague trial serves as formation of a more comprehensive picture of events in the Balkans in the 90’s after the procecutor and the defense have made their case. Issues related to the underlying policy objectives of Srebrenica, events before Srebrenica and the number and the PR game… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

“If the Balkans find that too many obstacles are strewn about the road to Brussels, they may well be tempted to set out on the shorter road to Istanbul” (Misha Glenny, Balkan political analyst) Practically the Eastern EU enlargement for the moment is stopped. Croatia’s membership is a bit delayed, Turkey’s EU bid is dead… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

“Yes, to Europeans, Turkey’s EU bid is dead. The fundamentally Roman Catholic continent simply has no intention of ever incorporating 70 million Muslims in one swoop. And Turkey—with its Ottoman history, which at one time threatened Catholicism’s very existence—has particularly negative associations in European minds. Still, given this nation’s strategic value to Europe, you just… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Croatians voted for Change

The last election in Croatia can bring a refreshing change with new President Ivo Josipovic – a university law professor and a composer of classical music – but he will find a much tougher struggle ahead of him. This struggle not only due economical problems (national debt and unemployment) but also problems related to Croatia’s… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Serbia on the road to EU

Serbia’s application to join the EU was finally made before X-mas. Early December EU foreign ministers agreed to unblock Serbia’s interim trade agreement, which is part of Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro have been approved by EU for visa-free travel within the EU Schengen area from January 2010. (More in my… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Free movement is one fundamental human rights not only in one’s own country but also abroad. While speaking about Balkans I earlier have highlighted (e.g. “Forgotten Refugees – West Balkans“) the situation of Serb refugees or IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) who can not return to their original homes in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo. The fear… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

As Lisbon Treaty seems to come into force also the enlargement process in the Western Balkans got new boost. On 14 October 2009 the Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement.The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

Promoting a culture of coexistence, a multi-ethnic society or at least ethnic tolerance is not an easy task, not even in Europe, not even with help of billions of aid or with “best” western practice. This can be seen especially in Balkans where regions supervised by foreign “expertise” have worst record while regions without these… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila

The “European perspective” is key concept for integrating western Balkans into EU. The main carrot for ordinary people during this millennium has been visa-free travel after some 17 years of isolation. On 15th July 2009, the European Commission submitted its proposal on visa-free travel for citizens of Western Balkans countries. After a non-binding opinion of… » read more

Posted by Ari Rusila